Physical Therapist Assistants in Northern California

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1 Physical Therapist Assistants in Northern California Research Brief, April 013 Prepared By: Theresa Milan Center of Excellence Los Rios Community College District

2 Table of Contents Introduction...3 Industry Overview...3 Occupation Overview...4 Job Posting Data...6 Supply-Demand Gap Analysis...7 Summary & Recommendation...7 Appendix A: Accredited PTA Training Programs in California...8 Important Disclaimer All representations included in this report have been produced from secondary review of publicly and/or privately available data and/or research reports. Efforts have been made to qualify and validate the accuracy of the data and the reported findings; however, neither the Centers of Excellence, host District, nor California Community Colleges Chancellor s Office are responsible for applications or decisions made by recipient community colleges or their representatives based upon components or recommendations contained in this study. 013 Chancellor's Office California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program Please consider the environment before printing. This document is designed for double-sided printing. Northern California Center of Excellence

3 Introduction The purpose of this report is to determine if there is sufficient ongoing demand to warrant investment in a physical therapist assistant (PTA) training program in the Northern California region. For purposes of this study, the Northern California Region includes the following counties: Butte Colusa Del Norte El Dorado Glenn Humboldt Lake Lassen Marin Mendocino Modoc Napa Nevada Placer Plumas Sacramento Shasta Sierra Siskiyou Sonoma Sutter Tehama Trinity Yolo Yuba This report also separates data for the Mendocino/Lake area, which includes Mendocino and Lake Counties. In this report, there is an overview of the industry and overview of the physical therapist assistant occupation, including education and licensing requirements, current and projected labor market demand, and a supply-demand gap analysis. Industry Overview Physical therapy offices are the primary employer of physical therapist assistants. This employer group is embedded in the industry sector of Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, and Audiologists. In the Northern California region, there are about 315 establishments in this industry sector and it is expected to grow by eight percent through 017, from 3,890 employees in 01 to 4,14 employees in 017 in Northern California. In the Mendocino/Lake area, this industry sector has about 10 establishments and is expected to decline slightly, decreasing by 5 jobs. Other larger industry sectors that employ physical therapist assistants include general medical hospitals, nursing care facilities, and home health care services. Using these industries as parameters, there are 855 health care establishments that may employ physical therapist assistants in the Northern California region and 3 health care establishments in the Mendocino/Lake area. Exhibit 1: Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, and Audiologists 1 4,500 4,000 3,500 3,000,500,000 1,500 1, Mendocino/Lake Area Northern California 1 EMSI Complete Employment Northern California Center of Excellence 3

4 Occupation Overview Under the supervision of a physical therapist, physical therapist assistants carry out routine functions, assist in the development of treatment plans, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. For example, physical therapist assistants may perform the following tasks: Instruct, motivate, safeguard, and assist patients as they practice exercises or functional activities. Observe patients during treatments to compile and evaluate data on their responses and progress and provide results to physical therapist in person or through progress notes. Confer with physical therapy staff or others to discuss and evaluate patient information for planning, modifying, or coordinating treatment. Transport patients to and from treatment areas, lifting and transferring them according to positioning requirements. Monitor operation of equipment and record use of equipment and administration of treatment. Fit patients for orthopedic braces, prostheses, or supportive devices, such as crutches. In California, physical therapist assistants must complete an accredited two-year college physical therapy program or met the equivalency requirements, as well as complete a clinical internship. In addition, physical therapist assistants must pass the national physical therapist assistant examination and a state examination on the laws and regulations governing the practice of physical therapy in California. The Physical Therapy Board of California manages the licensing process. 3 In Northern California, there is one accredited PTA training program, located at Sacramento City College. The program, on average, confers 30 Associate degrees annually. 4 Physical therapist assistants earn above average wages with entry-level earnings at $19.49 in Northern California and $3.57 in the Mendocino/Lake area. 5 The slightly higher earnings in the Mendocino/Lake area may be due to the lack of physical therapist assistant training programs in the area. With fewer applicants for open positions, employers in the Mendocino/Lake area may be offering above average wages to attract and retain qualified talent. Exhibit displays the percentile hourly earnings for physical therapist assistants in the Mendocino/Lake area and Northern California. Percentile wages are helpful in understanding the range of wages an entrant to the workforce could potentially earn. For example, a new entrant might begin their career in the lower percentiles, like the 10 th percentile wage, where 90% of workers in the occupation make more and 10% earn this wage or below. As experience is gained, the same worker may earn up to the 90 th percentile or higher. ONET Online, Accessed 4/10/13. 3 California Department of Consumer Affairs, Physical Therapy Board of California, Accessed 4/10/13. 4 California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office. Program Awards Summary Report, Accessed 3/5/013. Average degrees conferred based on four years of data: , , , and The median hourly earnings across all occupations is $0.53 in Northern California and $16.43 in the Mendocino/Lake area. Northern California Center of Excellence 4

5 Exhibit : Percentile Hourly, Physical Therapist Assistants 6 $40.00 $30.00 $0.00 $10.00 $0.00 Pct 10 Hourly Pct 5 Hourly Median Hourly Pct 75 Hourly Pct 90 Hourly Northern California $19.49 $3.5 $8.48 $3.71 $35.74 Mendocino/Lake Area $3.57 $7.0 $31. $35.17 $38.16 In the Northern California region, the physical therapist assistant occupation is projected to grow by 18 percent through 017, from 455 jobs in 01 to 536 jobs in 017. In addition, it is estimated that employers will need to replace approximately 35 workers over the period due to retirements and those leaving the field for other reasons. With both growth and replacements considered, this could result in 3 open positions annually. In the Mendocino/Lake area, this occupation is quite small overall, with an employment estimate of just 1 jobs in 01 and a projected demand for just two workers through 017. Table 1: Projected Growth, Replacements and Annual Openings, Physical Therapist Assistants 6 01 Jobs 017 Jobs New Jobs Percent Growth Total Repl. Annual Openings Northern California % 35 3 Mendocino/Lake Area % 1 0 Jobs Exhibit 3: Five-Year Projections, Physical Therapist Assistants 6 Northern California Mendocino/Lake Area EMSI Complete Employment Northern California Center of Excellence 5

6 Job Posting Data According to Burning Glass, an online system that aggregates job posting data, there were 58 job postings for physical therapist assistants in Northern California over the last three months. 7 As shown below, 50 percent of these job postings were in the Sacramento region, 5 percent were in the Far North, 0 percent in the North Bay (Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties), and five percent were in the Mendocino/Lake area. Relative to the job estimate for physical therapist assistants, the number of job postings is somewhat high. There are several factors that may be influencing this variance: Employers may continuously post a physical therapist assistant position (even when there are no open positions) to ensure that they have a sufficient number of candidates on hand when a position becomes available. In areas where qualified applicants are in short-supply, continuous posting is a common recruitment method. Employers may have a high level of turnover for physical therapist assistants. The estimate for total replacements in Table 1 does not include turnover, only openings created by retirement and general separations (i.e. those leaving the occupation to pursue other interests). Inconsistent job titles, that is physical therapy aides incorrectly titled as physical therapy assistants. Kindred Healthcare Inc. and Burger Rehabilitation Systems had the most job postings during this time period. One-quarter of the employers (16 job postings) stated a preference or requirement for First Aid, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) certification. The majority of job postings (98%) held no work experience requirements. Mendocino/ Lake Area, 3, 5% Exhibit 4: Job Postings by Location North Bay, 1, 1% Far North, 14, 4% Sacramento Region, 9, 50% Sutter Health Catholic Healthcare West ResCare Orthopedic & Neurological Gentiva Health HCR Manorcare Kaiser Permanente Burger Rehabilitation Systems Kindred Healthcare Inc. Exhibit 5: Top Ten Employers by No. of Postings Burning Glass. Job Posting data for 01/16/013-04/15/013. Northern California Center of Excellence 6

7 Supply-Demand Gap Analysis Table provides an estimate of the gap between the supply of newly trained workers and the projected number of job openings in the next 1 months. The total job openings in the next 1 months include growth and replacement estimates, but not turnover. Turnover does not create demand for new workers but instead is a measure of activity within the existing occupational workforce. Based on the available information, there is a projected oversupply of physical therapist assistants in Northern California and a supply gap in California overall. Due to the limited number of job openings in the Mendocino/Lake area, the lack of a training program does not equate to a supply gap. Table : Supply-Demand Gap Analysis, Physical Therapist Assistants 8,9 Region Annual Openings Annual Completes Gap / Surplus Mendocino/Lake Area <1 0 <1 Northern California California Summary & Recommendation The aging workforce, aging and growing population, and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are creating new opportunities for those interested in pursuing occupations in the health care field. In Northern California, the demand for physical therapist assistants is expected to grow by 18 percent over the next five years. With replacements, health care employers will need to hire 116 PTAs over the next five years, about 3 workers annually. On the supply side, there is only one PTA training program in the region located in Sacramento. Although there is not a training gap in the Northern California region, employers located in the Mendocino/Lake area, North Bay, and Far North likely find it difficult to find qualified physical therapy assistants for open positions. To help meet the workforce needs in these areas, local colleges should encourage their health care providers to partner with Sacramento City College or other Bay Area Colleges to recruit new grads. 8 EMSI, California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office. Program Awards Summary Report, Accessed 3/5/013. Average degrees conferred based on four years of data: , , , and EMSI 011data for private education intuition completes. Data for all accredited PTA programs included in the estimate, except for Carrington College California. Northern California Center of Excellence 7

8 Appendix A: Accredited PTA Training Programs in California Below is a list of the public and private education institutions that offer a physical therapist assistant training program in California. All of these programs are accredited by a mechanism acceptable to the Department of Consumer Affairs, Physical Therapy Board of California. College Public/Private City/Region Carrington College California Private Education Institution Pleasant Hill/Bay Area Cerritos College California Community College Norwalk/Los Angeles College of the Sequoias California Community College Visalia/Los Angeles Concorde Career Colleges Private Education Institution North Hollywood/Los Angeles Loma Linda University Private Education Institution Loma Linda/Inland Empire Ohlone College Newark California Community College Newark/Bay Area Sacramento City College California Community College Sacramento/ Northern California San Diego Mesa College California Community College San Diego / Southern California Northern California Center of Excellence 8

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